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Church Papists: Catholicism, Conformity and Confessional Polemic in Early Modern England

Author: Walsham, Alexandra
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 158
Pub Date: 01/01/1993
ISBN: 9780851157573
Availability: Out of Stock
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Quick overview A study of clerical reaction to the sizeable number of Catholics who outwardly conformed to Protestantism in late 16c England. An important and satisfying monograph... Many insights emerge from this rich and original study, which whets the appetite for more. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW [Diarmaid MacCulloch]
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`Church Papist' was a nickname, a term of abuse, for those English Catholics who outwardly conformed to the established Protestant Church and yet inwardly remained Roman Catholics. The more dramatic stance of recusancy has drawn historians' attention away from this sizeable, if statistically indefinable, proportion of Church of England congregations, but its existence and significance is here clearly revealed through contemporary records, challenging the sectarian model of post-Reformation Catholicism perpetuated by previous historians. Alexandra Walsham explores the aggressive reaction of counter-Reformation clergy to the compromising conduct of church papists and the threat they posed to Catholicism's separatist image; alongside this she explains why parish priests simultaneously condoned qualified conformity. This scholarly and original study thus draws into focus contemporary clerical apprehensions and anxieties, as well as the tensions caused by the shifting theological temper ofthe late Elizabethan and early Stuart church.ALEXANDRA WALSHAM is Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter.

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